Its technical details may have been revealed back in December, but the real news has been left until today's Detroit Motor Show opening: the MINI Paceman concept is destined for a production future.
“I’m thrilled to tell you now, for the very first time, that there will be a seventh member of the MINI family, and we will base it on this concept”, Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG told the press in Detroit today.
The news follows reports this week that the British brand's plans for a production version of its Beachcomber concept - also based on the Countryman platform - had been scrapped after safety test results called for too many changes.
Essentially a three-door version of the high-riding Countryman, the Paceman concept brings a number of styling tweaks that include a unique C-pillar and restyled tail-lights. Whether these features will carry over to the production model - and other MINI models - remains to be seen.
Power is provided by the same 1.6 litre twin-scroll turbocharged engine found in the brand's John Cooper Works models, developing 155kW and 260Nm of torque.
Like the Range Rover Evoque, the MINI Paceman concept appears almost production-ready in its current state, suggesting a market debut may not be as far away as it might seem.
Today's announcement also follows news last year that MINI is developing production versions of its popular Coupe and Roadster concepts, expected to make their market debuts sometime this year.